There was a colourful change to the final day of the 2013 Australian Defence Force Netball Carnival. This year the committee decided to dedicate the final day to raising money for the McGrath Foundation. Players and spectators alike created a colourful spectacle by wearing a few outrageous outfits, face paint and pink balloons, setting the tone for a tough competition with mixed results for the Navy Netballers.
The Navy squad went into the competition with high hopes. The competition began with the men’s Navy team taking on the men’s Air Force team. It was a slow start to the game with Air Force holding a steady control against the frantic start of the Navy team. After a few strategic changes and some steadying words from the Navy coach, the team took control of the game with Navy taking a comfortable victory at the final siren.
The men’s team then had to face the force of the Army. Unfortunately the strength of the Army saw the Army men’s team walk away with a 10 goal win. The Navy men’s team ended their day with one win and one loss.
The next Navy team to take the court were the women’s squad. With a lot of new faces in the squad this year their first game was a well fought battle against a strong Air Force. Lucky for us, the girls proved to be the stronger team with a win to Navy 31-19.
Leading Seaman Medic Holly Whitney-Wylde from the Northern Territory Combined Side showed such excellent netball skills throughout the week that she was selected in the Navy Ladies squad.
“I was stoked when my name was called out; and to beat Air Force first up was a great start to defending our title. I missed out on being selected last year and had to support the girls from the sidelines. To be out there this year and to walk away with the win is great.”
The game between the ladies Army and Air Force teams unfortunately altered Navy’s fate. The Air Force were leading the Army with only a few minutes remaining. Unfortunately, for Navy, the Army fought back to sink a goal after the final siren to claim a draw. Therefore, the final game of the day was to be between the Navy and Army to eventually decide the champion service.
The Navy ladies fought hard but were overrun by a polished and fast finishing Army side, falling short 22-44.
With two tough matches for both the Ladies and Men’s Navy Squads, it was now up to the Mixed Team to save face for the Navy by continuing the fight. It was a case of too fast, too strong. Neither Army nor Air Force were able to match the height and speed of the Navy side. The Navy mixed side ended up unbeaten in both matches.
Throughout the week, selectors from ADF Netball watch the games with vigour. They were very impressed with the skill sets of several Navy players, which saw them being selected into the National Squad. The following Navy players are to be congratulated for their selection into the ADF National Squad:
- LCDR Steve Wall
- MIDN Rob Gould
- CPO Narelle Neave
- PO Brent Nemeth
- PO Sarah Keegan
- LS Mel Lavelle
- LS James Lee
- LS Reyannon Sansom
- LS Nicholas Miller
- LS Stacey Audeham
- AB Ben Jay
- AB Zoe Chesworth
- AB Perry Trew